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UK Feature Archive

Full article | 1 addition | 4 comments

Direct Action Withdraws HLS Loan Facilities

07-10-2009 20:34

Update: SHAC receive inside information proving the statement from Fortress to be a lie, so the campaign is relaunched against them.

In August this year, Anchor Sub Funding were exposed as the front company set up by BDO Luxembourg in 2006, that loaned $30 million to Europe's largest and most exposed vivisection laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). In response, activists protested at offices in Birmingham, Cambridge, Berkshire, Bristol, Manchester, Dublin (Ireland), Gothenburg (Sweden) and a directors home in New York City (USA). The Animal Rights Militia (ARM) also visited the adresses of BDO directors in Luxembourg, leaving incendiary devices underneath an expensive car at one home and painting the other with death threats, before setting fire to the garden. The day after the ARM action was reported Anchor Sub Funding subsequently dissolved and cut its ties with HLS, withdrawing also from any future loans.

As a result, on September 25th, Fortress Investment Group were revealed as the company who payed BDO to set up the shell company. Within a week and at their first demo, Fortress stated they fully divested from HLS, a claim later authenticated by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). The news comes at a cruical time as HLS CEO Andrew Baker attempts to complete a buyout of the company, now without Fortress' additional loan required to complete the deal.

Newswire: Welcome to HLS - Their Past is Their Future | Fortress Confirm They Have Withdrawn Loan Facilities For HLS | Fortress Divest in HLS? | HLS Financial Target Revealed: Fortress | Fires At Homes Of HLS Lenders | Latest on HLS financials | More articles

Related features: Largest HLS Investor Dumps All Shares As Buyout Approaches | Largest Shareholder Barclays and Top Investors Dump HLS | Top HLS Investors Dump Shares | Largest HLS Investor Dumps All Shares

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Solidarity with Vestas Workers!

05-10-2009 18:06


SINCE the removal of the 'Marine Gate' 'Blade Blockade', and the Turbine Blades that remained in the Vestas Blades UK factory on St. Cross Business Park, Dodnor Lane, Newport, Isle of Wight, campaigners have been sorting out the original 'Magic Roundabout' Camp, and considering strategy.

A Marquee has been erected and a fair amount of furniture skipped / built to make the area comfortable and well-resourced in terms of power (80-odd watts of solar power for phone and laptop charging), a solar shower, and spare tents for visitors.

The campaign to keep the Wind Turbine Blade Factory on the Isle of Wight (the only sizeable renewables production facility in the UK) open was featured heavily in the national news media in July and August. Media, and activist, attention was grabbed by the Occupation of the offices at the factory by a small number of the 600 workers who were to lose their jobs (more would have occupied, but the management were tipped off, and the occupation had to be moved forwards).

The occupation began on July 20th. Vestas failed to sort out their eviction order the first time, meaning the occupation lasted 10 days beyond the closure of the factory on July 31st. Workers remained on full pay during this time, and many workers entered the company redundancy scheme thanks purely to this (Vestas was to refuse them any redundancy despite the fact they were days from the minimum time needed). This was one of many small victories.

With the end of the occupation, many in the local press spoke of the 'end of the campaign' - no doubt in part thanks to ideas put out by Vestas themselves. On the contrary, rallies and meetings continued, the local JobCentre was 'Rushed', demos happened around the Isle of Wight and nationally, including one march which ended with local campaigners and supporters invading the Vestas site, and temporarily occupying the factory (leaving of their own will).

Focus then shifted to the Wind Turbine Blades that were being stored both in Southampton (109 blades) and the St. Cross factory (9 blades). Activists occupied a crane and two barges in Southampton, and blockaded the gate wherby blades were moved to the River Medina on the Island. Vestas security attempted to make it known that Vestas were unconcerned about the 'Blade Blockade', but activists estimated the value of the Blades at £750,000, and the police operation to evict the camp suggests some degree of importance attached to the removal of the blockade.

Full article | 1 addition | 1 comment

Operation Liberation Demo at Highgate Rabbit Farm

30-09-2009 18:24

On Saturday 26th September, 350 people demonstrated outside Highgate Rabbit Farm in Lincolnshire, a supplier of rabbits and ferrets to the vivisection industry, including Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), Europe's largest and most exposed lab. The Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) protest titled 'Operation Liberation' was part of the campaign to close down the farm and hailed as a success, bringing the attention of local people to the farms immoral practices.

Several short speeches were made by campaigners as protesters stood 750 metres from the farm which lies in Normanby-on-Spital. They were not allowed to stand any closer to the farm as police had placed a Section 14 Notice on the premises which forbids members of the public from passing the 750 metre perimeter. As demonstrators arrived police used a 12 by 6 foot banner to announce the implementation of the legislation.

Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | Newswire: Report | Pictures | Open letter and pics of cops! | Message Left For Geoff Douglas | Phone Calls At All Hours For Perverts

Previous features: Operation Liberation: Highgate Rabbit Farm | Highgate Farm Protest Camp

Indymedia SHAC topic pages: UK | Northern

Full article | 1 addition | 8 comments

Operation Liberation: Highgate Rabbit Farm

26-09-2009 08:30

Operation Liberation: Highgate Rabbit Farm (by Latuff)


IMC Northern England will be providing coverage of the SHAC UK national Demonstration at Highgate Rabbit Farm, Lincolnshire on Saturday 26th September.

Those at the demo can phone in their news of the days events to:


Alternatively, you can publish pictures/video/text direct from your phone to the Northern Indymedia "Tumblewire" from an internet enabled phone to

During the midnight hours of 6th January 2008, Animal Liberation Front (ALF) volunteers gained entry to Highgate Rabbit Farm, in Lincolnshire, who imprison animals waiting to suffer and die in the miserable vivisection industry (Pictures | Video). 129 rabbits were liberated with £70,000 worth of damage caused to the farm and its vehicles.

Following the raid, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) reported the farm subsequently stopped supplying rabbits for animal testing, in a plan to close down the business. However, after instruction from the police, the farm reluctantly resumed supplying rabbits to laboratories, one of which is Europe's biggest and most exposed lab Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS).

Therefore as part of a global week of action against vivisection breeders, SHAC have called a UK national demonstration for Saturday 26th September, directly outside the farm, in an attempt to save the rest of the animals and close down the lab supplier. Just days later ALF activists claimed they painted slogans against those who own and run the farm, such as 'Douglas Family Bunny Butchers' and 'Douglas Animal Abusers' in the Market Rasen area.

Links: About Highgate | Demo/Transport Details | Resources | Action

Newswire: Butane bomb left at Novartis | ALF Welcome Andrew Baker To Town | Letters Sent To HLS-Loving Scum | Vivisection Animal Breeder Global Week of Action | Fire At Homes Of HLS Lenders | Veganarchist Dean Cain Remanded Again | Launch of SHAC North America | Pain doubles at HLS, animal use drops 34% | Unilever Products Sabotaged | Novartis Products Ruined | Latest on HLS financials | Novartis under attack | Novartis Stinks | SHAC newsletter 52 - out now! | New Largest Investor Morgan Stanley Dumps HLS | Huntingdon Life Sciences doomed financial status | Warning Sent To Novartis Offices | Dan Amos has moved prisons | MFAH destroy Novartis CEO's hunting lodge, ALF paint subsidiary | More articles

See also: Highgate Farm Protest Camp

Full article | 1 addition | 10 comments

Sean Kirtley Released From Prison After Appeal Victory!

22-09-2009 10:33

The Final Nail In The SOCPA Coffin?

In May 2008, following an 18-week trial costing over £4.5 million, the operator of a website criticising animal testing, Sean Kirtley, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for allegedly organising legal protests. He was found guilty under Section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) for "interfering with the contractual relationships of a laboratory" by campaigning against Sequani Limited and its business associates. He was released this month after his appeal was successful.

Solidarity direct action included a Carnival Against Vivisection in September against Sequani and anonymous ALF activists painting a city centre, walls and bridges, liberating hundreds of chickens, redecorating a fur shop, vandalising a hunter's car and sabotaging vending machines (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5).

Newswire: A letter from Sean Kirtley to Gagged! | "Free Sean" | GSK and Mars vending machines sabotaged | Sean Kirtley's Appeal Launched | ALF Chickin' Nickin' For Sean | Law-lord ruling to free Sean Kirtley? NETCU on the run | Felix Says "Free Sean Kirtley" | Sollidarity actions for Sean Kirtley | Serious Implications for Freedom of Speech as Activist Jailed for 4.5 years | NETCU and Judge Ross crucify civil liberties | Support Freedom of Speech - Support Sean! | Sequani Trial Update - One Remanded - Three not guilty so far... | Jury out to decide the fate of the Sequani Six (longest AR trial in history) | How to be a seriously organised animal rights criminal - Section 145 SOCPA. | The Sequani Six say thanks for the support

Previous feature: Police repression at Sequani demo | World Day for Animals in Laboratories March | Anti-vivisection campaigners convicted of blackmail | Solidarity For Political Prisoner Sean Kirtley | Carnival Against Vivisection | Sequani Besieged by Surprise Action

Links: Free Sean Kirtley | Sequani 6 | Stop Sequani Animal Testing | NETCU Watch

Indymedia UK topic pages: Stop Sequani Animal Testing | SOCPA

Full article | 10 comments

Climate Campers Escalate Action Against Eon

08-09-2009 23:54

On Wednesday 3rd September, as the Camp for Climate Action finished up clearing the site of this years climate camp, a group of activists pitched a tent within the grounds of E-on owed Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire. The tent was emblazoned with the words 'Climate Camp is coming' in reference to their plans to shut down the power station in October.

German energy giant Eon (owner of the Kingsnorth power station in Kent which was the focus of last year's climate camp) was the target of a number of protests during the week. On the Monday, naked protesters occupied the roof and lobby of Edelman Public Relations. The firm have been employed by Eon to ease public concern over controversial plans to build the first coal-fired power station in the UK for 30 years, and you can contact Edelman here

On Tuesday, activists invaded the Dartford offices of construction giant Laing O'Rourke which is one of the companies bidding for contracts with Eon to build a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth. A large group of activists entered the offices, handed out leaflets and talked to staff. Meanwhile, another team scaled the building and hung a banner reading 'Don't Build Kingsnorth'.

Laing O'Rourke is among six companies bidding to build the power station which would, if completed, emit more carbon dioxide than the entire country of Ghana. Other firms bidding for the contracts were targeted earlier in the year by protesters keen to ensure the companies are aware of the opposition they'll face should they attempt to build Kingsnorth.

Climate Camp | Eon Watch | Eon F Off | Don't Build Kingsnorth | No New Coal | The Coalhole | Leave It In The Ground | The Tipping Point

Full article

Actions launched against Europes largest Arms Fair

04-09-2009 16:19

Anti-militarist activists have begun taking action against Europe's largest Arms Fair, Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi), which returns to London's Excel Centre from the 8th to 11th of September.

Actions to date include a mass action launched from Climate Camp against Barclays Bank the largest backer of the global arms trade, attacks on branches of HSBC and RBS, a picket of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Trade Fair, a pixie action against Brighton based arms manufacturers EDO MBM/ITT, and pickets of an Armed Forces recruitment centre and DSEi's new organisers Clarion Events.

More actions are expected over the weekend following a call-out for disruption of exhibitors premises in the lead-up to the Arms fair, and for this purpose, a map of exhibitors locations was created.

A local paper has reported that military staff were drafted in to support the 3000 police who secured the last DSEi, which is held every two years. Policing costs are likely to be even higher this year, as Disarm DSEi has called for the mass action on Tuesday 8th September to take place in the City, where investors and backers of the Arms Trade will be targeted. The action will be a test of post G20 policing strategies. Disarm DSEi which campaigns against the Arms Fair has refused to negotiate with the police. Past actions have been the subject of major repression, and searches and kettles have been used frequently. This year was the first time that the Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) were not photographing people attending the public meeting.

Past coverage: 2001 | 2003 | 2005 | 2007
Links: Disarm DSEi | Space Hijackers | Smash EDO | CAAT | London CAAT

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Zippos Circus Campaign

04-09-2009 12:47

With Zippos Circus now in Southsea, the Southern Animal Rights Coalition (SARC) have promised protests for the duration of time the animal circus is in the area, as well as working with groups in Horsham and London where the circus visits next. Zippos is one of only eight British circues' that continues to include animals in its performances, using horses, birds and dogs.

SARC reported they are currently touring with at least 4 horses, kept in tiny stables, 3 Shetland ponies in very tiny box areas, one of which was circling around - a sign of stress in animals, and an unknown number of budgies. Zippos has carted animals up and down the country since February this year, as part of their 2009 tour, and are remembered for supporting abuse against elephants and a chimpanzee named Trudy.

The group said: "It is highly stressful being made to perform in front of bright lights, loud music and crowds of people, and highly unnatural. They have no choice in whether they perform or not and humans just don't have the right to exploit animals in this way for money."

Photos: 1 | 2 | 3

Newswire: Noisy activists dig up dirt | Campaign Continues | Another day, another demo | More protest | Opening night protest | Contact Portsmouth Council | Campaign starts in Portsmouth

Links: SARC Circus/Zoo Campaign | Captive Animal Protection Society | Animal Defenders International | Case Study: Zippos Circus | Animal Circues Campaigns | About Circuses |

Full article | 35 comments

Indymedia Reporting of Climate Camp

25-08-2009 23:55

The Camp for Climate Action at Blackheath in London has been dismantled after a full week of learning, discussion and actions. Looking to the future it was announced that EON's Ratcliffe power station would be the target of the next mass action with campaigners saying they will shut it down on October 17-18th. There was much discussion on the upcoming UN COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, with the camp committing to take part in the Reclaim Power action (one of the many direct actions planned around the summit) which intends to take over and occupy the conference venue for a day.

See IMC London full feature coverage of the Climate Camp: Wed: Swoop + Taking the Site | Thursday | Friday | Sat-Wed

Also see:  CC Website Photos | CC Twitter | CC twitpic Stream | Climate Camp Radio | Climate Camp TV | CC Video Stream | Youtube Site Videos | Flickr Pictures | TV News Reports | Why London? 

Full article

Climate Camp Roundup: Scotland, Wales, Ireland +

24-08-2009 13:02

The summer of 2009 is seeing an upsurge in campaigning on climate change, with Climate Camp protests taking place throughout Europe and the world [see list] ahead of the COP15 UN Climate talks in Copenhagen in December this year. Climate Camps have recently taken place in Scotland, Wales and Ireland with hundreds of people occupying land, learning about climate change, exchanging skills and taking direct action, as well as supporting local residents already engaged in resisting fossil fuel schemes that damage their health and the environment. Camps have also taken place in France [see imc.nantes] and near Antwerp by the Belgian/Dutch border  [see|]. Next up is the UK Camp for Climate Action in London on 26th August, ahead of an autumn of mass action [2] before COP15 [1|2]. Climate Radio Climate Camp 2009 Special. For more details see the Full Article.

Full article | 10 comments

Anti-fascists challenge BNP's return to Derbyshire

19-08-2009 20:56

The BNP is a Nazi Party - Smash the BNP

Last weekend saw the British National Party (BNP) return to the village of Denby, Derbyshire. For the third year in a row, the fascist party were holding their annual Red, White and Blue "festival" in the village, on land owned by party member and former Tory councillor Alan Warner. Anti-fascists protested outside the site. The BNP's recent successes in the European Elections appear to have strengthened the demonstrators' resolve with reports indicating that 1,000-1,500 anti-fascists mobilised against the event.

Last year the event was protested by several hundred activists in the nearby village of Codnor, while a smaller group of antifascists attempted to block access to the site. The campaign against the festival has continued throughout the year with Warner (1 and 2) and event organiser, David Shapcott, having been "visited" by anti-fascists. Warner appears to have decided that enough is enough and told the Derbyshire Evening Telegraph earlier this year that he was looking to move.

Photos: Demonstration against the BNP Event in Codnor 1 | Demonstration against the BNP Event in Codnor 2 | Protest against the BNP Event in Codnor, Derbyshire : Police Action | Demonstration against the BNP Event in Derbyshire: Surveillance Operations | AirRobots Drone deployed at Demo against the BNP Event in Derbyshire | The 'welcoming Gate Crew' BNP Event at Codnor, Derbyshire | Report of anti BNP protest in Codnor with 20 photos | BNP 'Red, White and Blue' festival hit by direct action | Photos from Protest against the BNP's Red White and Blue Festival 2009

On the newswire: Angel-faced BNP racist aged 12 | Radio Derby's friendly chat with the BNP | Report from the protest against the BNP's RWB festival 2009 | First report back from RWB demo | BNP nazi guest barred from UK | Nazi farmer Warner gets another visit | Stop the BNP's 'Festival' of Hate | BNP confirm RWB will be held in Derbyshire for a third year | Fascist farmer targetted again | The BNP's 'RWB' Organizer Gets An Early Call

Previous Features: Protests greet BNP "festival" | Anti-fascists Prepare to Stop BNP "Festival" | BNP Withdraw Festival Licence Application in the Face of Protests | East Mids Campaigners Up The Anti as BNP Make Electoral Gains | Midlands and Yorkshire organise against the BNP

Links: Antifa England | Hope Not Hate | Stop the BNP's RWB Festival | Unite Against Fascism | Indymedia UK Stop RWB topic page

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Largest HLS Investor Dumps All Shares As Buyout Approaches

18-08-2009 12:48

On August 1st, Win Animal Rights (W.A.R.) launched a campaign to influence the top Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) Investor, Morgan Stanley, (who recently bought LSR stock) to divest their large holding of LSR shares. With 679,225 shares, Morgan Stanley was a 5% owner of Europe's largest and most exposed vivisection laboratory, swiftly selling all their LSR stock within a week of the campaign against them.

Protests included W.A.R. visiting the homes of 5 senior executives, as well as the two co-presidents of the firm, and five days later demonstrating at the headquarters of Morgan Stanley in New York City. This was followed by visits to the homes of multiple senior executives of the company.

The divestiture comes as LSR/HLS CEO, Andrew Baker, moves forward with his plans to acquire HLS and make it a privately held company, therefore delisting themselves from the NYSE (a major target in the campaign to close HLS). The proxy statement makes it abundantly clear that activists have had a tremendous impact on LSR/HLS' financial predicament, causing them to have limited options for the future.

Previous features: Novartis CEO's hunting lodge destroyed | Highgate Farm Protest Camp | Operation Liberation: Highgate Rabbit Farm | Largest Shareholder Barclays and Top Investors Dump HLS | World Day for Animals in Laboratories March | SHAC supporter unlawfully arrested at Barclays Bank | SHAC Shakedown City Investors | Top HLS Investors Dump Shares | HLS Exposed - Yet Again! SHAC To Shakedown Financial Investors In The City | 50 Years For The UK SHAC 7 | Anti-vivisection campaigners convicted of blackmail | Largest HLS Investor Dumps All Shares | SHAC Prepares For National March & Rally | Victory for animal rights campaigners | Activist Imprisoned for Shouting | Fisher Scientific Embarrassed Over Links with HLS | SHAC World Day for Lab Animals | Asahi Glass Protesters Harassed by Police | "March Against the Murderers"

Full article | 9 comments

Novartis CEO's hunting lodge destroyed

07-08-2009 10:27

"Dealing with HLS means dealing with US." - MFAH Austria

In an act of direct action against top Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) customer Novartis, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Vasella had his hunting lodge in the town of Bach, in Tyrol, Austria, destroyed by fire (see photos). The Militant Forces Against HLS (MFAH) claimed responsibility for the arson in an anonymous communique, calling on Vasella to sever all ties with HLS. The activists reported that Vasella butchers animals at HLS, Europe's largest and most exposed vivisection laboratory, through contracts made with Novartis, as well as butchering animals in his own private hunting estate. A spokesperson for Novartis said he has now decided to sell the property that was burnt with 60 litres of petrol.

The MFAH formed in April this year and have targeted HLS customers in France, Germany, Belgium and now Austria. They are relatively unknown and adhere to no guidelines, although are affiliated with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). In recent months the militant group have reportedly targeted Novartis in France, burning down a sports centre and in Germany, vandalising the Vice Chairman's cars and home, returning a month later to place incendiary devices under his two cars. They have also targeted HLS customers Sandoz, Sanofi-Aventis, Bayer, Schering Plough and Pfizer.

Related articles: Warning painted at Novartis subsidiary | Glaxo billboards cut down, painted over | After-hours visit to HLS supplier | Home visit for Pfizer executive | "Break with HLS" painted at Novartis | Cars destroyed at home of Novartis executive | Payback time for the animals inside HLS | Suprise for Schering Plough Director | Smear campaign against Novartis vivisectors | Arson attack on Novartis clubhouse | HLS customers targeted | ALF knock-and-run | Attacks against NYSE Euronext | Home visits for Novartis scum, and deer running free | Novartis worker visited at home | Bayer and Novartis criminals tracked down and attacked | More articles

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Highgate Farm Protest Camp

01-08-2009 00:47

On Monday 27th July, activists occupied land near the entrance of Highgate Rabbit Farm, in Lincolnshire, in protest against their breeding of rabbits and ferrets for the vivisection industry. Highgate Farm supply several university and commercial laboratories, including Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). In conjunction with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) the campers are holding a peaceful protest, calling on the closure of the farm, and for the farmer to hand the animals over to a suitable organisation for rehoming.

The protest has recieved positive coverage on the front page of the local newspaper and support from locals who put up Highgate Farm posters in local villages for the upcoming national demonstration. This caused a Stafford police officer to express concerns that it may be the beginning of "the new Newchurch", begging campers not to visit the now guarded farm during the night. In reponse, Ian Caswell from South Yorkshire FIT team made an appearance, the council threatened an eviction (that was subsequently retracted), and a police helicopter hovered over the camp.

During Wednesday night, a shot rabbit with a rope tied around their neck was then thrown at the camp from the direction of the farm, which is now under investigation by CID. Protesters have therefore called for more people to come and support the camp after extending it past Friday.

Timeline: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Links: Background info about the Highgate campaign | SHAC topic page

Full article | 4 comments

Northern Indymedia Launches

01-08-2009 00:06

August 1st 2009 sees the official launch of Northern Indymedia by the alt-media monkeys of IMC Northern England. Having revived the dormant IMC Leeds/Bradford and merged with IMC York, the collective is officially launching their new site as a news resource for all those seeking a better world in the grim north and beyond. 9 Months of hard work are culminating in the public unveiling of the new site at Hyde Park Unity Day in Leeds, where there will be a solar powered "Be the Media" centre provided by the collective. The pitch will also include members of the Climate Camp Yorkshire neighbourhood who are helping to launch "The Great Climate Swoop" on the same day. Full coverage of all the goings on will be put up on the new site:

Links: New site of IMC Northern England | Join our mailing list | Collaboration tools on Crabgrass | IRC Chat room | New IMC form submitted | Letter sent to IMC York proposing merge | Letter sent out to local groups in the North of England | Northern IMC at Glastonbury 2009

Full article | 2 additions | 4 comments

Vestas workers occupation

27-07-2009 20:38

Around 25 workers have occupied the second floor of the offices of the Vestas St. Cross factory in Newport on the Isle of Wight, the UK's only industrial-scale wind turbine blade factory, following mounting concern over its planned closure on the 31st July. They are calling for government intervention to save the plant, jobs, and to ensure fair redundancy packages. Since the first day of the occupation on the 20th July the workers have been besieged by police and private security, with 15 arrests being made (as of 28/07), mostly for 'breach of the peace' as people tried to join and get food to the occupiers. A large crowd of fellow workers, locals, and environmental campaigners from around the UK have gathered outside the factory gates to show their support.

Related: Support the Vestas factory occupation - what you can do | Vestas Factory OCCUPIED | Vestas Workers Speak Out | Vestas situation update - two arrests; mass walk-in gets food to occupiers | Vestas Sit In - Photos|Daring Action Gets Supplies To Vestas Workers Occupation

London Solidarity Demo, Wed 22nd July: Report, Pictures: 1|2
London Solidarity Demo, Tue 28nd July: Report: 1|2
Birmingham Vestas Solidarity Picket: Report
Links: Save Vestas

Full article | 2 additions | 25 comments

Destruction of Calais migrant camps planned next week

18-07-2009 22:39

Do people really choose to live like this?

Following the announcement of a £15million plan to 'strengthen their borders', the British and French governments are planning to destroy the Calais 'Jungle' in northern France and mass-deport hundreds of refugees stranded there. Reports from Calais say the French authorities are preparing for the destruction of the make-shift camps next Tuesday, 21st July, with a mass deportation flight to Afghanistan planned on Friday, 24th July.

Calais refugees and their supporters are calling upon activists, independent journalists and legal observers to go down to Calais and help prevent this tragedy. A protest outside the French embassy in London has been called by No Borders on Monday [more action ideas]. A group calling itself 'Calais Witnesses' has prepared a statement and is asking groups and individuals to sign it. Two UK Green MEPs have also issued a joint statement condemning the 'inhumane' plan.

Related: SALAM: Destruction of the Jungle on Tuesday, 21st July | The Law of 'Jungles': The situation of exiles on the shore of the Channel and the North Sea (pdf) | No Border Camp at the UK border extension beyond the channel

Links: Calais Migrant Solidarity | Calais No Border | No Borders UK

Full article | 4 comments

Israeli Navy seizes humanitarian aid ship in International Waters.

08-07-2009 11:12

The Spirit of Humanity and The Dignity in Cyprus

Activists from Free and the International Solidarity Movement, determined to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, gathered in Cyprus and set sail for Gaza on the ‘Spirit of Humanity’ on June 29th. The following morning, over 20 miles off the coast of Gaza, the boat was surrounded by Israeli Naval vessels who threatened to fire on the boat unless it turned around. The boat continued towards Gaza, and was then boarded by Israeli soldiers, who took control of the boat, and took all 20 passengers and the captain hostage, along with aid including building materials, medical supplies and childrens art supplies. By attacking the vessel in International Waters, and by preventing it from sailing into Gaza, Israel once again showed that it has scant regard for International Law, and confirmed that it is the de facto occupier of Gaza.

The majority of the prisoners were taken first to Ashdod, and then to Ramle Prison, accused of trying to enter Israel illegally. In fact the boat at no point entered Israeli Territorial waters, and nor did it intend to do so. Whilst in prison, the passengers were able to give a number of interviews, but the mainstream reporting of the incident has been patchy. Several of them have commented on the plight of the asylum seekers trapped in Israel’s immigration detention centres, some with no way apparent way out. The majority of the passengers have now been deported, and the charge that they attempted to enter Israel illegally has been dropped.[Interview with deportee] The boat remains in the hands of the Israelis. The Free Gaza movement is already fundraising in order to be able to undertake another journey as soon as possible.

Two activists who entered Gaza on a previous successful Free Gaza voyage, have been stranded at the Rafah Crossing since June 10th, despite having permission to exit from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the other side of the border, 100 US activists with $1m of medical supplies are trying to get in.

Previous Free Gaza Journeys: Free Gaza boats arrive in Gaza | Dignity sets sail for Gaza | Israel FIRES on Free Gaza Ship | International Witnesses speak from Gaza

Full article | 3 additions | 7 comments

No Border Camp at the UK Border extention beyond the channel

25-06-2009 20:47

preparing the agenda for the meeting

A farcical curtain of steel descended on Calais, and the massive campaign of demonisation of the camp by the local authorities continued in the press. The camp gradually grew to around 1000 people from all over Europe. Many local people visited the site, a group of around 100 mostly Kurdish and Afghani migrants participated at a daily basis and a lot of local kids and young adults hanged out in the Camp [Report and Pics]

It run alongside the main motorway from the port out of town and it was just a few minutes from the "Jungle", the makeshift camps where migrants are living. Migrants report that currently the controls at the border are very tight and that no one has been getting through for few weeks, consequently the number of migrants in Calais are at their highest in several years.

On Sunday 21st of July, people from the camp went to the festival in the town centre of Calais, with a sound system, to give out leaflets that explain the aim and nature of the camp, in an attempt to communicate directly with the locals beyond the media lies. After the prohibition to distribute any kind of literature that was issued the following Monday, giving out leaflets became an action in itself where people got arrested. Issues of the daily produced newspaper "Nomad" were also confiscated.

Assisting the migrants seems to be a criminal offence, which granted an arrest on Wednesday 24th June, but people have been thinking about some paractical ideas you can do this summer to help the hundreds of migrants stranded in Calais.

On Friday 26th morning, a man demanded showers for migrants when he glued himself to the entrance of La Mairie de Calais - one died trying to have one in the dangerous place where they are forced to wash themselves. In the afternoon, the local motorway was blocked to highlight the hypocrisy of allowing freedom of movement for goods and animals but not of people. Reports: [1|2] Pictures: 1 [Summary of Friday actions]

On Saturday 27th, the campers left the Camp at 10am to go to the transnational demonstration. Here there are reports and Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Videos 1 | 2.

Back in the UK, a demonstration was called in solidariy with the detainees in hunger strike in Yarl's Wood detention centre [Photos 1 | 2].

People are using alternative and corporate tools for real time reporting.

General info and resources: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | After Calais what's next? | Reflecting on Calais No Border Camp 2009 | Video on S4 Welsh Chanel

Full article | 7 comments

100 000 March In Support Of Tamils

22-06-2009 22:54

Children inside the pen.

On Saturday 20th June, around 100,000 People, including many Tamils, marched in Central London in support of the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The march was organised by the .British Tamil Forum.

There have been accusations of genocide having taken place in Sri Lanka in the last few months. So far this year, it is estimated that over 50,000 Tamils – mainly civilians - have lost their lives in a massive military onslaught by Sinhalese Sri Lankan government forces as the 26-year civil war was brought to a climax with the use of cluster bombs and shelling of civilian areas. Sri Lankan Armed Forces are also alleged to have used chemical weapons.

Over 280,000 displaced civilians are being held in prison camps – where conditions are reported to be dire, with poor sanitation, widespread diseases and a lack of adequate security. Amnesty International has received consistent reports of serious human rights violations, including enforced disappearance, extra-judicial executions and torture and sexual violence, including young girls being abducted from the camps.

March Reports: 1 | 2 | Short Film | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3
Parliament Square Protest Ends | Protest Against Sri Lankan President At Lords | Previous blockade of Parliament Sq by Tamils

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